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Series V: Correspondence, Rolodex, Other LKG Projects
At a Glance
Scope and Contents
Contain first drafts of his writings, correspondence related to his personal and professional life (including exchanges with Tom Wolfe and Edward R. Murrow, among others), as well as posters, original arwork, multiple binders of CBS advertisements, and other visually interesting documentation of his career.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
Material is unprocessed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This collection is located on-site.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
History / Biographical Note
Lawrence K. Grossman, CC '52, was an innovative television executive and advocate for public broadcasting. He joined the advertising department at CBS in 1956, then moved to NBC in 1962, becoming the network's VP of advertising. PBS hired him as its president in 1976. Grossman transformed PBS over eight years — the network became the first to deliver its programming by satellite; he introduced the programs Live From Lincoln Center and concerts from the White House and the Kennedy Center, and doubled the length of the network's signature news program, The MacNeil/Lehrer Report.
Grossman was hired by NBC in late 1983, and after General Electric's acquisition of RCA, NBC's parent company, in 1986, he fell out of favor with his new bosses. He was dismissed in 1988. After leaving NBC, Grossman taught at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He wrote The Electronic Republic: Reshaping Democracy in the Information Age (1995), about how interactive telecommunications of that era — faxed petitions, email lobbying and 900-number polls — were providing citizens with more direct participation in politics and making them the "new fourth estate." In the late 1990s, he and former PBS chairman Newton Minow launched Digital Promise, a nonprofit that receives federal and private funding to use digital technologies to improve education.